Well, the inevitable is finally occurring. A number of employees who recently left Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward are now joining Respawn Entertainment, the studio set up by former IW heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.

G4 reports that ex-IW employees have joined Respawn so far. The employees making the switch are lead designer Todd Alderman, lead animator Mark Grisby, lead environmental artist Chris Cherubini, lead animator John Paul Messerly, software engineer Rayme C. Vinson, programmer Jon Shiring, and lead designer Mackey McCandlish. They're expect to fill the same roles at Respawn that they did at IW.

West and Zampella formed Respawn Entertainment after being drummed out from IW by parent company Activision. The firings are at the center of a pending lawsuit. West and Zampella maintain that Activision fired them to avoid paying royalties for Modern Warfare 2's sales. Activision says they terminated the two because they were negotiating with rival publisher EA (now the exclusive publisher/distributor for Respawn) and holding up development of the next Modern Warfare.

Respawn's yet to announce their first game. In the lawsuit, they claim control over the Modern Warfare 2 segment of the Call of Duty franchise. If they managed to win the suit, they'd presumably dive into making Modern Warfare 3.

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